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Runic Dictionary

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Kráka/Áslaug Sigurðardóttir (KrákÁsl)

volume 8; ed. Rory McTurk;

VIII. Lausavísur (Lv) - 11

Lausavísur — KrákÁsl LvVIII (RagnSon)

Rory McTurk (forthcoming), ‘ Kráka/Áslaug Sigurðardóttir, Lausavísur’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 3 December 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   Kráka/Áslaug 

SkP info: VIII, 629

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — KrákÁsl Lv 1VIII (Ragn 2)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Ragnars saga loðbrókar 2 (Kráka/Áslaug Sigurðardóttir, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 629.

These five stanzas reflect Ragnarr’s relations with Kráka-Áslaug, the daughter of Sigurðr Fáfnisbani ‘Fáfnir’s slayer’ and Brynhildr Buðladóttir, from when he first meets her up to the night immediately following their marriage. Throughout this time Ragnarr is ignorant of her illustrious parentage. In Ragn 2 she refers to two of the three difficult conditions under which Ragnarr, on hearing of her beauty, has required her to visit him; in the second half of Ragn 3 she responds to the first half, spoken by Ragnarr; in Ragn 4 he offers her, and in Ragn 5 she declines, the gift of a shift that had belonged to his deceased wife Þóra; and in Ragn 6 she indicates on their bridal night that their failure to postpone intercourse for three nights will lead to their son being born without bones.

Þori ek eigi boð brjóta,
er báðuð mik ganga,
né ræsis kvöð rjúfa,
Ragnarr, við þik stefnu.
Manngi er mér í sinni
— mitt er bert hörund eigi —
— fylgi hefi ek fullgótt —
— fer ek ein saman — mínu.

Ek þori eigi brjóta boð, né rjúfa kvöð ræsis, er báðuð mik ganga stefnu við þik, Ragnarr. Manngi er mér í sinni mínu; hörund mitt er eigi bert; ek hefi fullgótt fylgi; ek fer ein saman.

I dare not disobey the command, nor disregard the king’s summons, when you, Ragnarr, have bidden me attend upon you. There is no person in my company; my flesh is not bare; I have a perfectly good escort; I come alone.

Mss: 1824b(57v), 147(106r) (Ragn)

Readings: [1] Þori ek eigi boð brjóta: ‘[…]’ 147    [2] er: ‘[…]’ 147;    ganga: ‘(ganga)’(?) 147    [3] né: ‘(nie)’(?) 147;    ræsis: ‘[…]’ 147;    kvöð: ‘kavþ’ 1824b, ‘[…]’ 147;    rjúfa: ‘[…]’ 147    [4] Ragnarr við þik stefnu: ‘[…] (st[…])’(?) 147    [5] Manngi er mér í sinni: ‘([…] mi) […] (j s[…]ni)’(?) 147    [6] mitt er bert hörund eigi: ‘(mitt) […](t) hörund […]’(?) 147    [7] fylgi hefi ek fullgótt: ‘(fylg[…] h[…]fi ek f[…]llg[…]tt)’(?) 147    [8] fer ek ein saman mínu: ‘(fer ek) […] (saman minu)’(?) 147

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 2. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ragnarssaga loðbrókar II 1: AII, 232, BII, 252, Skald II, 131; FSN 1, 246-7 (Ragn ch. 5), Ragn 1891, 184 (ch. 5), Ragn 1906-8, 125, 196-7 (ch. 5), Ragn 1944, 34-5 (ch. 5), FSGJ 1, 235 (Ragn ch. 3), Ragn 1985, 112 (ch. 5), Ragn 2003, 20-21 (ch. 5), CPB II, 346.

Context: At Spangereid in Norway, Ragnarr hears of a woman no less beautiful than Þóra. Unknown to all but herself, this is Áslaug, the daughter of Sigurðr and Brynhildr. She has been brought up as a drudge at Spangereid by some poor farmers who found her as a child after murdering her foster-father, gave her the name Kráka ‘Crow’, and seek to pass her off as their own daughter. Covered only by a net and her long hair, with a taste of leek on her lips, and bringing a dog with her, Kráka-Áslaug here claims to have fulfilled Ragnarr’s request that she should visit him ‘neither clad nor unclad, neither fed nor unfed, neither alone nor in company’.

Notes: [2, 4] ganga stefnu við þik ‘attend upon you’: I.e. ‘keep an appointment with you’. Cf. Olsen (Ragn 1906-8, 196), and Nygaard (NS §91 (c)). — [5-8]: Kráka-Áslaug refers here to only two of the three conditions under which Ragnarr, in the prose of the saga, has given orders for her to visit him; she omits mention of ‘neither fed nor unfed’ (see Context, above, and Ragn 1906-8, 124-5; the omission is signalled by italics in CPB’s translation: ‘I have smelt but at a leek’). The motifs in Ragn of the three conditions, and of Kráka-Áslaug’s use of a dog in fulfilling the third of them, may reflect a combination of two folktale-types, on the one hand AT no. 875, ‘the clever peasant girl’, and for the motif of a dog as a companion, AT no. 981, ‘wisdom of hidden old man saves kingdom’. See further de Vries (1928b, 14-29, 176-232), and McTurk (1991a, 204‑11).

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